Thursday, 21 February 2013

Comfort and Challenge

Lectionary Readings for February 24
Gen. 15:1-12, 17-18, Psalm 27, Phil 3:17-4:1, Luke 13:13-35, Luke 9:28-36
Donita Wiebe-Neufeld

I'm at home by myself this morning, so I read Psalm 27 out loud. (Neat experience! I encourage you to try it). Reading aloud, the words become more than little black marks on nice paper. The feelings of the text, and my responses to it added an experience of texture and depth, leaving the meanings ringing in my head. I look forward to wlaking with these words today. Verse 1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?" This passage is so encouraging, helping to drain away anxiety and refocus thoughts on God. Our work, our calling, our reason for being doesn't depend on us, it is about Diving purpose and intention for the world. What a gift of comfort!

The Philippians passage is challenging, especially to readers who are living a comfortable life. When the writer, Paul, says that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ, with their god being their stomach and with their minds on earthly things, I am challenged. I wonder if I pay too much attention to my desires and not enough to the needs of others. That phrase "enemies of the cross of Christ" might not be only referring to people who have taken a stand against Christianity. It might also be understood as referring to believers who are adverse to sacrifice-unwilling to pay the price of their beliefs when they are challenged. I don't think Christian are called to seek out suffering, but if we truly follow Christ, there are times when we will be called to sacrifice. To give of ourselves when it is not convienient, to give our time, our resources, and maybe to take "heat" sometimes for being disciples in word and deed.

What verses, ideas, comforts, and challenges come out of these scriptures for you?

1 comment:

  1. I find it quite fascinating how passages are put together - we have a lot of stories of people who just don't "get it" and we have a Psalm that says Wait for the Lord - the answer to all that is wrong in the other stories. This is a real challenge to me as I often look at what's missing instead of what has been given (Abram focussing on offspring rather than God's guidance) and on what's wrong instead of what is right (the pharisees foccussing on the broken sabbath law rather than the miracle of healing). I need to remember that "The Lord is my light and my salvation" and that is a blessing far greater than the "glories" of those around me who, as far as I can see, "live as enemies of the cross of Christ" - or more accurately from my perspective-just for themselves - and seem to prosper. I have to "believe that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living" and wait for the Lord.